Monday, October 26, 2009

Caldo Verde


That's right. It's green. It's mean--I mean, it's meanly delicious! And nutritious! I love dino kale, and I love love potatoes. This soup combines both of those things, and it is super easy to make. I even figured out an ace method for trimming my kale: a pizza cutter! The rolling-wheel-knife of a pizza cutter makes shredding kale lengthwise super easy before you slice with a chef's knife into inch-long pieces, or so. Seriously, the whole soup requires minimal effort, and it can be made vegetarian, vegan, or meaty. I strongly recommend the variation with sweet chicken sausage, but white beans work almost just as well.
For those of you who read my blog and are afraid of cooking, trust me, you will not be disappointed with this. I had it for dinner tonight with light, homemade Bolivian quinoa tamales, but a slice or two of good crusty bread (such as this) will do just as well.

Let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

CALDO VERDE
10 c vegetable stock or water, or a combination of the 2
2 lb potatoes (creamier=better, so yukon gold is good), rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste
6 c shredded kale, or another hearty green, into about 1"x 1/4" long pieces
2 T extra virgin olive oil
a bit less than 1 lb sweet chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4" pieces and browned, OR white beans, if you're going veg

In a large saucepan, bring stock/water, potatoes, onion, salt, and pepper to boil, until potatoes are very very soft (test one with a fork, after about 20 min). When ready, drain liquid from potatoes into another vessel (a 2nd large pot works well), and mash potatoes and onions in original pot. Now pour cooking liquid/stock into mashed potato-onion mixture. Bring to boil again and simmer anywhere between 15-40 min. The longer it cooks, the richer the flavor becomes, but if you want to be done quickly, 15-20 min is just fine. Add olive oil and kale, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

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